BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Richard Scrushy once sat down to talk with "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace about allegations that Scrushy started a huge fraud while CEO of HealthSouth Corp. Now, Scrushy wants Wallace to do the talking.
Set to go on trial this week on a 58-count indictment, Scrushy has subpoenaed Wallace and a CBS producer as witnesses to discuss their "60 Minutes" segment about the HealthSouth debacle, according to court documents filed Monday.
Wallace and producer Robert Anderson have asked U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre to throw out the subpoena, citing their First Amendment rights and claiming they don't have anything to add to the case, anyway.
Bowdre did not immediately rule on whether the two must appear. Jury selection begins Wednesday, the day the defense wants Wallace and Anderson in Birmingham.
Accused of heading a group of executives who overstated HealthSouth earnings by more than $2.6 billion, Scrushy has pleaded not guilty to charges including fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury and violating a new corporate reporting law. Fifteen former HealthSouth executives already have pleaded guilty, and Scrushy blames them for the scheme.
Wallace interviewed Scrushy about the fraud case for a "60 Minutes" segment first aired in October 2003, a few months after the scandal broke and sent HealthSouth share prices plummeting. In the interview, rebroadcast last August, Scrushy told Wallace he didn't have anything to do with overstating earnings.
"I certainly didn't commit the fraud. The people know me. They know I wouldn't instruct somebody to do that," Scrushy told Wallace.